10 February 2008
Before that though, best wishes goes out to Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers whose neck was slashed by the skate of teammate Ollie Jokinan tonight in what can only be described as a freak accident. As of this writing he was thankfully in stable condition. If you can stomach it, here's the video The really telling and scary part is the end of the video when they pan out and you can see how much blood Zednik lost in the short skate to the bench. (Here's a screen-grab of the scene I was talking about from a Deadspin commenter. I would post this pic in the text, but some are squeamish. If you don't like blood, don't look. Oh and this one's even worse) All this comes just a day after Linesman Pat Dapuzzo takes a skate to the schnoz in the Rangers-Flyers tilt. Yikes, get better soon guys.
Since he seems to be okay, thankfully, I'll go ahead and post some pics from the game the other night against the Sharks. Unfortunately I had Theo on my side in the first, when he faced exactly 4 "shots" (and one good shot) and then the Avs took the second period to not shoot so most of the action was on the other side of the ice throughout the night, making pics scarce. but here they are anyways for your enjoyment:
As everyone knows by now, The Avs won that game 3-1. Theo was great, Brett Clark tried to blow the game in the last 2 minutes and I booed Patrick Marleau throughout for ruining my fantasy season.
Despite the win one thing really bugged me about this game. The Avs had a 13-4 first period shooting advantage over the Sharks and were dominating play all period. It's easy to say they came out flat in the second period but that would be inaccurate. They came out with a different strategy. In the first period there were routinely 2 Avs sent in to forecheck on dump-ins and lines were allowed an extra 20-30 seconds to establish some sort of offense on their shifts. This paid off in a 13-4 shot differential that wasn't nearly as close as the numbers indicate.
Then, inexplicably, in the second period Q started throwing just one token forechecker into the Sharks zone and trying to "out-coach" Ron Wilson by changing lines within 10 seconds following every faceoff and Sharks line change. Predictably this left the Avs with little offensive rythem and the Sharks caught and passed the Avs in total shots somewhere around the 7:00 minute mark in the second period, and tied the game in the process. The Avs luckily got a power-play goal to hold a slim 2-1 lead, thanks in large part to the very strong play by Jose Theodore, and not thanks to Q's over-coaching of the game. The strategy worked so well in the second period that Q trotted it out in the 3rd period, where brilliant play from Theo and a little luck saved the day.
So the question is why not just play the same style you played in the first period. Make Ron Wilson counter what you're doing, THEN change it up. Not only did this disrupt the entire flow the Avs had in the first period, but the Avs made many mistakes in line changes and there was mass confusion on the bench the rest of the night. I saw 3 Avs diving headfirst into the bench to avoid "too-many-men" penalties and one ridiculous instance where either Wolski or Guite started on the ice, came back to the bench then went out so SJ had essentially a 5-second power play and the Av tried to figure out just what the fuck was going on.
Q trust your players, I know you want to match Guite on Thornton to try and neutralize him, but you don't want to confuse your team by trotting out a new line every 15 seconds. Your best (and some might say only) coaching trait is you can coach defense, especially defensive positioning. Trust in your coaching that if Hejduk, Bruno and Hensik get caught out there for a shift they can be ok.
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